The following is a statement given by the Rev. Mark Brown (Arkin Ariantho) at the April 18 worship service at the Anglican Cathedral in SL:
Greetings in the name of our Lord,
This June will signify two and a half years of founding the Anglican Cathedral in Second Life and two years of offering worship services. Over that time we have grown to seven services, a discussion group, Bible Study and numerous fellowship, prayer and counseling encounters around the virtual Cathedral. And over that time the leadership of the ministry has matured into a robust and impressive leadership team.
The time has come for me to retire from active involvement in the Second Life Anglican ministry. The plan is to remain involved in an advisory capacity. On the 14th of June I will be stepping down from the leadership team, leading services and in being involved in the day to day operations. This decision is brought about due to increasing time pressures in my personal and professional life including a growing family and new responsibilities within my work and ministries. I want to assure you that the ministry of the Anglican Cathedral in the virtual world will continue to flourish in this time of transition and beyond, under the expert guidance of the leadership team.
It is a real pleasure to serve God in this unusual setting. I am firmly convinced that God is the God of the virtual space. There is much the church needs to do to make the most of the internet; this isn’t about producing yet another website or blog, but of reconfiguring what church is, to best interface with the digital generation. But also, we the church need to speak boldly into that same generation so as to influence it towards all that we hold dear in the Anglican tradition.
An exciting mission indeed!
The Reverend Mark Brown (Arkin Ariantho)
and the following response was given by me (Cady Enoch) on behalf of the Anglicans of Second Life Leadership Team.
The Anglicans of Second Life Leadership Team would like to express our heartfelt thanks to the Rev. Mark Brown for his leadership in the founding and development of the AoSL ministry. We are saddened by his intention to retire from active involvement in this ministry, but understand the family and professional commitments on his time that have led to his decision. We are most grateful that he has agreed to maintain an advisory status within this ministry, and wish him all the best in his future endeavors. We also appreciate the confidence he has placed in the Leadership Team to carry on the mission of this ministry, and we are fully committed to sustaining this ministry well into the future.
We would also like to thank all of those within our community who took the time to participate in our recent community survey. We have collected a huge amount of data that we are still in the process of working through. The demographic data from the survey will be posted on our blog this Monday. There are two major themes that have emerged from our analysis so far. You have expressed a desire for us to more clearly define our ministry goals and mission statement. You have also asked for clearer and more effective communication from the Leadership Team. Please be assured that we are listening to these requests, and are working hard towards meeting these goals.
In addition to our ministry within the SL community, the Leadership Team continues to work with our colleagues in the RL Anglican church (notably Bishop Tom Brown of Wellington, NZ and Bishop Christopher Hill of Guildford, UK) towards our goal of recognition by, and integration into, the work of the wider church community. This work includes the formulation of an AoSL Constitution, which will help us define the structure and governance of this ministry going forward. We have been working on a draft of this document for some time, in consultation with legal experts within the church, and are currently awaiting clarification on some key issues within it. As soon as we are in a position to do so, we will share further information on this process.
These are indeed challenging and exciting times for all of us involved in this unique ministry. Please know that all of us at work in this ministry are sustained by the prayers and support of this community, and that we are always open to your thoughts and ideas on how best to move forward in this important work. It is a privilege for us to be able to serve you in this way, and to serve God in this wondrous environment.
The AoSL Leadership Team